Sunday, February 27, 2011

The morning/day after

Emma and I are tired after yesterday's birthday party but it was so much fun. After the doggy sleepover Lily was so glad to see her family. When she left, I think Emma was glad to have all our attention. She is so use to all my attention it would take awhile for her to adjust to another dog in our daily life. She did absolutely fine with Lily. Both dogs were so well behaved. It was fun to have Lily (my granddog with us)

I am thinking today of how important it is to have support of family and friends. I know we have beeb blessed to have support for me with the MS. I know when Greg has had cancer our friends and family got us through the surgeries and recovery times.
Through all the struggles and bumps in the road of life. I think we have been blessed to both give and receive support to others.

I think sometimes it is easier to be the "giver" of support to others. At least for Greg and I. We have several friends who are going through difficult times in their families due to death, or illness, or financial struggles in this economy. We have found phone calls, cards of support, invitations to come over, providing meals, and other things like that are just great ways for us to help. And we are pleased to do it. I think we are called by our faith to do so for others. It is with joy we can open our heart to others in times of need. It does something positive to our spirit to help others - it is positive experience for us.

We have also been on the "receiving" end in times of struggle. We have Greg's siblings and their families which is like an arm of support in hard times. We have my family, friends, and neighbors who have shown us such kindness in times of need. Both emotional support, the gift of presence and so much more. One of my friends who just had her spouse die suddenly, I have to remind her that it is okay to receive help and support in times of need. People want to help. It is sometimes so difficult to admit you need help and to take it.

I remind this friend that she would be the first to help others. This time it is her turn to graciously accept offers of help. It is a way to share love.

My children also show me time and time again that they are generous in giving help to others. In so many ways big and small. I am so proud of them. I admire them for making choices that demonstrate that they too understand part of life is helping others through life's struggles. It is their friend who lost her dad suddenly and at a young age. Life can be so difficult at times. But with the help of others we get through the tough day at a time.

I feel blessed to live with support and to be able to give support....

Emma is wanting to go outside so off we go. May you have the support you need in times of struggle and may you be generous in helping others in times of need. One day at a time...with friends and family we can handle the bumps and joys of our journey in life...

Mary and Emma wish you a good week.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Doggie Sleepover

Lily, my grand dog, is sleeping over. So far, it is going great. Both dogs are mostly sleeping. They are together here sometimes or at my son's house - but never overnight. All is going fine. It is fun for me to have both their company as I cook for the birthday party tomorrow. I am doing fine. I do have to pick up some and that is not as enjoyable. The meal is simple so not much to do tonight. Greg is making some of it.

We had a good day. We took a later morning nap to handle a busier afternoon schedule. My son and his wife took me to do his errands when they brought the dog out. Then I met my teacher friend, Jan, after school. (Some of you know her). She is the greatest and we almost always chat once school is out on Friday. Sometimes by phone and often in person. I loved teaching with her at St. John's. I miss teaching but she keeps me realistic about how much work it is. i could never handle it with MS. That is for sure.

Talking with her is fun as sometimes we talk about teaching ideas, and how her day/week went. Having been a teacher I like that conversation. We are great friends. So much in common.

Our night is quiet and that is fine for me. I am making the wild rice for soup. Doing some paperwork, and watching tv. Can't complain at all. When Greg gets home I will help make the Hawaaian Sandwiches (can't spell) that you make a day ahead and marinate. Unless he thinks we should make them early am for our dinner tomorrow night. He insists on making the cake tomorrow. It is a rum bundt cake that he made once for work and likes. Becky is making cupcakes for those who prefer that.
We are all excited.

I am so grateful for family and for feeling pretty good today. My eyes still require me to wear sunglasses even at night in the house with dim lighting. I am trying to wear regular glasses now and then to see if I can get use to that but not yet. Will call the doctor next week if it does not improve. We did have a nice day.

Emma and Lily don't really play. Lily is part beagle so there is a size difference. They do go out together and sleep on the same couch though. They are doing just great.

Please pray for a boy named Evan. He is a teen and son of a friend of mine. He is soon to have another heart surgery and it is very serious due to other medical issues. I believe in prayer, so please join me in praying for him.

Dont know if I will have time to write on Sat. If not, please know we will be busy with family. I love when they all are home with us...

Have a great weekend....Mary Emma and Lily

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dreaming of Summer

Hello on Wed night.

I slept and rested a lot today. I did go outside with Emma and enjoyed watching her play in the snow. I think I mentioned yesterday how much fun she is having diving in the snow. We didn't do a lot but it was an okay day.

March is next week and I am anxious for spring to come. You never know in MN when the last snow will come. Some flurries and small accumulations are predicted. It has been pretty and good for winter sports but I am ready for flowers.

I am feeling better though my eyes are still pretty sensitive to light. Emma is doing great. Saturday all my children are coming home for a birthday party for Anna and Brian so that is something to look forward too.

Just not a lot new. Hope you are having a good week.

Emma and Mary

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snow for Emma

I have used this topic a lot this winter. Emma was thrilled to day to dive into the snow and enjoy ten inches or more of the soft stuff. I can say the rest of us are not so thrilled.

The street snow plow went by again in the night leaving a big pile at the end of driveways. My husband started to shovel but a neighbor from up the block must have seen him or driven by. I don't think he could see from the driveway. First, he helped plow enough so Greg could get out for work. Then he came back and did our entire driveway over. He made it wider with his big snow plow. What a nice surprise for us. Greg worked a long 12 hour day so it meant a lot to him too.

Emma and I made it to water exercise. She rested while I did the hour water exercise. My eyes are better and the headaches less but I still need sunglasses inside too. Emma was great. We enjoyed a simple lunch with a few from class and then I got a ride home from a friend. I have such kind friends. We took Metro Mobility there.

I guess the exercise wore me out. I took Emma outside several times today and also played outside with her. But we did get in a good long nap also. I was surprised we slept so long. When she is cuddled up next to me she keeps me warm and I sleep good in the afternoon. I also like her company and help..oh I know i mention it daily. Where would I be without her.

Not sure what is up for tomorrow. Likely home and that is fine. It is suppose to get up to 34 and that means Emma will love it even more. At the Y before going in there is a place I let her play (on a leash) and people admire her antics. She has to put her nose in the snow and romp in it a bit. Just a little fun for her before she watches me in water exercise.

Hope this is our last big snow but March is our snowiest month statistically. We will cope with whatever. Off to bed now.

Have a great day...Mary and Emma

Monday, February 21, 2011

So Much Snow

Though I did little, it was a stressful day. Lots of snow to deal with and the snow blower broke. Greg could not get out of the driveway till 6 pm. My son, Michael, handled the shoveling/plowing at Greg's work since Greg could not get in to direct things. He is such a hard worker. He also at the end of the day was able to pick up a belt for our sm/med size snow blower. Greg will have to get it tomorrow. The streets are too bad for Mike to get out her easily and other conflicts too.

Greg went out in shifts to tackle the snow of over 10inches but not over do. Boy we miss having kids that live at home. We don't have kids the right age in the neighborhood to help shovel anymore either. Long story. By nightfall Greg had most the driveway done. We have one neighbor who can help at times but has his own health issues with bad knees. Anyway he kindly came over to help at the end of the driveway where the city snow plow made such a deep pile. Oh we are getting sick of this snow. When you get this much snow it is really a pain. More is coming later in the week they say.

Emma of course had lots of fun. That is a good thing. I knew somehow it would all work out but that is a lot of physical effort for Greg to handle alone.. Mike would have come over tonight but we called him when things were finished. Glad to spare him driving on slippery roads after a long day for him.

this also pinpoints one of the many issues of dealing with MS for me. Not being able to help with some things. I just don't have stamina to do the amount of chores I did before being disabled. And I mean in the house. I am limited to what I can do. Having me try to shovel would be silly when navigating it all is tough for me anyway. I feel like Greg has such a heavy load around here. He says I do more than I realize and the little things I can do add up. He is a great guy.

I did fold laundry (it seems to never end) and had to rest my eyes in the dark with dark glasses on all the time. Gosh they are so irritated. We needed both a morning and afternoon rest/nap today again. I shouldn't complain as I have it pretty nice in some ways. But honestly I wish I could do more to help with our household. And sorry to complain but the pain of this infection in the eye really amazes me. Usually I can really handle a lot of pain. But I remember from last time that soon it will be better.

Emma helped pick up things, likes to bring me a blanket, and has been just awesome today. She is such a great dog.

Well we are sick of the snow though kids off school had lots of fun. It was a holiday for Presidents Day though likely they would have cancelled school due to this heavy snowfall for sure. Even the Universities cancelled classes in most cases and that is rare

I have a nice warm house so should not complain. We like our new snowblower and it manages the smaller snow falls just fine.
Let's hope this is our last really big one!

Drive safe if you were hit by this MN storm. Wish Emma could shovel but she did help in other ways.

Mary and Emma

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snowy Sunday Night Again

Wow what a snowy night. Not the first one this season but some places have 15 inches. Not so deep here. It is still snowing so we will see what the snow total is in the morning. Poor Greg worked a long late day/night so faces all the snow in the morning before he heads to work. I can't help with that anymore. So many things he does around here due to my physical limitations, sure makes me feel sad at times.

I am in the pitch black with sun glasses on. For those who have not had iritis it is so weird as even the slightest light is so difficult to handle with your eyes. Lots of pain today but still we made it okay. I napped off and on. Listened to tv, tried to read but only a bit. My daughter suggested getting an audiobook so I might try that tomorrow. A good idea. i can keep my eyes closed and listen. It will get better as days pass and I know that. Meanwhile Emma is so cozy and snuggly that helps lots too.

I think because it was a snowy day and they advised no travel I received phone calls today and that was nice. I am also a mentor to someone with MS who lives out of the area and does not have a lot of support. So I talk with her almost every Sunday to see how she is doing. That is good for me and for her too.

Emma enjoyed having the snow to dive into but it was so windy and vision limited that even she did not stay outside long today. I had to watch from the patio door. I think she will enjoy it tomorrow when things calm down.

We are okay. Hope your week goes well. Mary and Emma

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hi On Friday

The weather was in the 50's and now back to 20's.
This reality is physically hard on Emma.
I mean it literally.

Emma is the puppy who loves the snow
loves to dig into the snow with her face
loves to com up all snowy and excited
loves the snow in so many ways.

Well the snow piles are much smaller
and covered with ice from the melting and refreezing.

Emma tried so hard today each time she was out to dig
her face into the luck. Just hard snow.

I guess fresh snow is predicted so that will be good for her.
The rest of us have spring fever from the taste of nicer weather.

We went to the movie "unknown" today. It was wonderfully suspenseful and
not gory. I really liked it. I went with some MS friends and they all enjoyed it.
Emma was awesome of course.

I wasn't sure how the movie would be with my eyes.
The dark theater was nice and I wore dark glasses so I was okay
The distraction was better than sitting at home thinking about how my eyes
hurt or my headache. Good choice to get out of the house.

Emma is the best companion and helper ever. The movie is such fun. There were more people than normal.
They always look puzzled if they see me come in with the dog.
They look amazed at the end of the show if they didn't realize a dog was there.
She gets many many compliments.
The workers there now recognize us and admire her.

Emma you are awesome.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crisis at the Pool Today

Well I finally got out of the house. I look like a person with a seeing eye dog due to my dark glasses. I am wearing them in the house too. They did give me medication for iritis in both eyes. I have had it before. It is painful in the eyes and gives a horrid headache too. Takes time to get over . I also might have had a virus as I ached all over and was feverish and things. I do feel a little better except for the eyes and headache.

We did go to water exercise . This time is was upsetting to Emma and I. A dear friend there who is a retired teacher volunteers to help on the MS class. He helps a woman who can only use her arms to swim at this point. He has helped her nearly ten years as her abilities decline. He swims right with her, helps move her legs for some exercise and so on. Well she wasn't there today so he helped out generally.

Then he went to the hot tub and stayed in to long. I Think he passed out. They got him out of the water and tried to cool him off. He did gradually become alert. The police came but the paramedics in an ambulance took too long in my estimation. I think over 20 min or more. Well his blood pressure was way too low but he would not give permission to go by ambulance. I think he should have. The police even asked that as a friends if we would ask him to get in the ambulance. No luck and you can't force someone over 18. When I talked to him he asked to see Emma (he likes her) and I let him pet her. I even said that we would ride with another women Karen and meet him at the hospital to wait till his family came.

Emma's behavior was outstanding but you could tell by her expressive face she knew something was wrong. Well it is a longer story but he would not go at all. Finally I had some food with me and sprite in case of diabetes low blood sugar. Well he ate that and they brought him to another place in the Y (away from the pool humidity) where it wasn't so darn worm. Another man who is retired comes to help his wife with MS. So they were going to sit even longer with him and then drive him home. When we left he promised he would let them call 911 and go to the hospital if he didn't get better in 30 more minutes. I have not heard more so assume he is home safe and sound.

The paramedics did stay to make sure he could walk without fainting and talk and helped him dress. So by the time we left he had sat at least an hour in the cooler temp. Once I had trouble in a hot tub when I was pregnant and gosh didn't realize how overwhelmed I was by the heat in a short amt of time. I didn't know better 32 years ago. But after seeing how it impacted him I am sure I will never go in that hot tub. Not with MS and on blood pressure medication also.

I sat by this gentlemen with Emma for at least 30 min after he was dressed and more steady. I can tell you she was so comforting. We all were just shocked that he wouldn't get in the ambulance despite everyone trying to get him to do so. One person even said she would pay for the ambulance if he would go (and she meant it). I don't think he could think straight.

I can tell you I would get in the ambulance. My mother once fell badly and refuse to let them take her by ambulance due to cost. A neighbor got her into her home from outside and the ambulance crew left. Then she got worse and realized how much pain she was in. So my brother came and ended up calling an ambulance anyway and she needed to be admitted.

One of my friends said tearfuly it happened to her dad once and he insisted on going home. Got home and passsed out and layed on the floor 24 hours in his house till he was found. He died in that hospitalization. Had he gone into the ambulance he probably could have lived more years.

So this woman/writer is telling you I would get in the ambulance. None of us nor the Y knew how to reach his children or wife and he wouldn't tell us any phone numbers. It really shook us up. We have swam 10 years twice a week with him and chat.

Anyway. Hope if your friends, the police, medics, and staff tell you that you need to be checked at a hospital that you will go in. It was so upsetting as he clearly seemed to need to go in.

I am hoping no news is good news tonight.

Thanks that Emma is trained to be comfortable around people in uniform. She has in fact been there a few times when I had to go in an ambulance. She has never ridden with me though. She has been in ER with me several times also.

It was heart wrenching when he wouldn't go but very very calm. I compliment the YMCA staff, the police, the paramedics and my classmates for being calm. We stayed out of the way till they asked three of us to go over and talk to him about going in the ambulance.

Thanks I needed to vent and remind all to be careful of hot tubs. Remember he was older but did not have MS.

Have a good day when you read this. This helped teach us how deep our friendships are with those we swim with and have known for 10 years. Mary and Emma

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This will be short. I have not been feeling well. I think I have iritis again. Eye problems, senstive to light and a terrible headache. Slept a lot the past three days thinking I just over did last week. It might be something else as germs are around. I will contact my neurologist tomorrow and keep taking it easy. I had iritis in the summer and drops gradually make it better.

For me part of MS is the health issues but I can deal with it though I complain some. Hopefully not that much. Don't worry I will keep you posted and get out of the house when I feel better. Then we will have some stories to share.

I am still sure Emma can tell when my blood sugar gets low. She starts licking me even if I am sleeping. i get up and sure enough the blood sugar is low. I know when I am up she can probably tell from my body language but am impressed when I sleep through meals or if I am just laying there due to the headache and eye pain. What a girl.

Greg is spoiling me at night when he is home. Nice he was home a bit early for him tonight. A belated Happy Valentine's Day to all. Don't worry if I don't write for a few days. This will get better.

Emma and Mary

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Trying to Appreciate My Health

Have been having trouble logging in to post on my blog. We are fine and yeah today it worked.

It is over 40 degrees and feels like a heat wave in MN. I have a few windows open for awhile to get in some fresh air. The sun is shinning. Emma has enjoyed multiple trips outdoors already this morning with Greg and then with me.

Yesterday was very nice also. Had the windows down in our car as we went places. Started with a wonderful lunch with some friends from church. It was such fun We enjoyed it so much we were there almost two hours. Emma was so awesome one couple thought we left her at home.

We did some errands too. We were gone almost six hours total. Emma was patient and had to eat her dinner late. That is typically tough for her but she again did great. She got some exercise too. It was a great great day.

We have many friends and relatives who are sick. I had so many bad news emails yesterday. It makes me grateful that I only have MS to deal with. I am also glad my children are doing okay and grandchildren also.

MS is no picnic but yesterday was a good day. It also is not terminal so I can be happy about that. Today we will be home all day. I will need a nap after so much activity yesterday and that is fine. No big plans today at all. I do have a book I want to start also.Some laundry needs folding - but we will stick to only those quiet things and trips outside of course too,

I will write more later I think. Emma is a wonderful companion. We look forward to a quiet and relaxing day

Mary and Emma

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fatigue! Ugh!

We did go to water exercise which was nice. Good for my health! It sure tires me so I napped and rested the remainder of the day. We did have a good day. Emma was of course awesome all day. Thanks to Judy and family for an awesome dog. I can never thank helping paws staff and volunteers enough! Nite!

Mary and Emma wish you a great Friday.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hi to All,

It is so cold here that even Emma goes out quickly to do her 'duty' and then rushes back in. She is not eager to be out when temps are below zero and windy. It was a good day to cuddle in and take a nap.

We did go to water exercise. For the first time ever (in five and a half years) Emma got up from her stay (laying on a towel) and greeted me at the side of the pool. My friends were concerned she would jump in. I knew she wouldnt and I was correct. I quickly went over to her. It was the end of class so I don't know if she thought "Everyone else is getting out so I will get ready to go?" Normally she stays there so nice till i get out and tell her to "stand". No harm done.

Monday I rested all day so it was good to get out of the house with friends and to exercise. We can do that twice a week. I would be happy to go three times a week but the class is only offered twice a week. Also getting rides is sometimes a hassle. So twice a week works out nicely for us.

We got in a discussion at lunch that will surprise you dog lovers. Two people without pets (there were 7 of us) were listening to us and said "tell me why you have pets". They seemed to think that the issue of dealing with pet waste (dog or cats) grooming, and all were not worth the effort. We tried to describe the companionship, cuddling, and so on that a pet brings. One did concede that if she had a helper dog like Emma it might be worth it. It is always curious to me why some people seem born to be pet lovers and others are not.

Well I need to head to bed with my dear Emma, Greg seems to go to bed later than us on almost all nights.

Have a good Wed.

Mary and Emma

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Emma is cuddling with me.
An emotional day. We went to the memorial service. It was beautiful but also sad. It was comforting that some of my children came over afterwards.

We need sleep thank God for family and friends.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Best of the Best

On Saturday we were pretty sleepy. I had been awake for hours in the night. Emma of course at my side. The wake for our friend that died suddenly was upsetting I guess. So many thoughts on my mind. So I slept late Saturday and we mostly did quiet things during the day.

It was mild out so yes Emma got outside. She also got exercise in late afternoon when we went shopping. She was in tip top shape. Paying attention to me and following directions. She always does great I think but for some reason on this day both Greg and I thought she was "the best of the best" service dog ever. She drew so many compliments.

The grocery store was packed. We thought later on a Saturday would be better. Many people buying pop and snacks for the super bowl game I would assume. We just needed regular things and not as much as normal but it seemed like it took forever. Well anyway, Emma got a lot of walking in as we also went to Menard's. She just is so beautiful and was just great all day. I feel so blessed to have her in my life.

Sunday, we will be going to the funeral. Emma of course will go with. We live very close to the church. Our kids may stop by after for a bit and some friends too. I don't know if any will stay for the super bowl or not. We will see.

I love this picture of Emma. It is fairly new though I know I have posted some like it. She loves this comforter and looks so cute when she sleeps. Can you tell how awesome she is in my life? I am so glad she got exercise both indoors and outside on Saturday. It is suppose to get colder again this week. We will plan times to take her places so she gets to walk.

We all need angels in our lives. Emma is one of mine. I think she is the best of the best.

May your weekend go well. Call a friend and tell them how much you care about them. Dealing with their shocking, early death is sure not easy. I do have a deep faith and that gives comfort.

Mary and Emma

Friday, February 4, 2011

Funny Emma

Picture this - I will try to get a photo.

I am on the couch watching tv with a comforter on. Not sick or anything - just need the extra warmth. i was eating chicken and yep I will admit that I gave Emma a small amount. (Normally I eat at the table and do NOT give her table scraps). She liked it
Well I think she liked it a lot. Now remember this while I add another note.

One of Emma's skills is getting me the blanket so that I stay warm. The exact blanket that I had "on" while on the couch. Can you guess what she did?

Yep, she took my blanket "off". I think she thought then she would put it "on" and get a treat. Which does often happen when she gives me the blanket she gets a doggie treat.

Next, you guessed it, she put the blanket "on" me by lifting it to the couch. I adjusted it so I was warm again.

Well that little dickens pulled it "off" again. Promptly brought it to put ON again. Yep this puppy wanted a treat. A doggie treat from her dog food would due just fine.

She is so funny. We ended this game by saying enough and not long after I did have her retrieve something for me and she received a small treat. The other reason this is cute is i find Emma is not a service dog that needs many treats to be rewarded for her behavior. In fact sometimes I think I am too rarely in treating her.

Safe to say getting me the blanket is one she will happily do for me. I just have to reinforce leaving it there and not taking it off again and again. Silly Emma.

Greg is off today. She had extra time out playing in the snow and boy that amused her. It is so fun to watch her play. Now she is into diving into the snow drifts like she is burrowing into them.

My MS friends and I are looking forward to camp and talking about it awhile. It is not till May but fun to think about.

Hope to have some pictures later today or tomorrow.

Mary and Emma

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dealing with the Day

Instead of the white snow I see all around - I want to think of white roses. This is obviously a picture from my garden. How many months/weeks/days till spring? It has been a pretty winter but I have cabin fever and want spring.

I am trying to think of happy things today. If you saw the post yesterday, you know we are dealing with the sadness of someones untimely death. A visit to my counselor helped. I am not ashamed to say I see a counselor. Most people with MS deal with depression in part due to the chemical changes in the brain from MS. It is a common struggle among friends of mine with MS.

So let's think of happy things?
Emma had a blast in the snow today.
As days get longer (more light) I know it won't be too long and I will be sitting outside in the yard watching her play in the grass.
Grandchildren and children are happy things.
My wonderful friends are a happy things.
My husband brings me happiness.

There are many good things and blessings in my life. Today Emma it is a good thing for me to think about.

We are off to do laundry. Emma is ready to take it out of the basket and hand it to me to fold. That will be a good thing. We have a lot to tackle.

Thanks for your prayers of support. Mary and Emma

A Sad Day

Someone very dear to us lost her father to death today. He took his own life. It is so sad and he was a good man. We have cried a lot. Emma keeps snuggling me knowing something is wrong. He was around our age

The death is so sad and brings back memories of some other individuals I loved who also died due to depression and the act of suicide. It is just so awful to deal with.

I chose to write this because I want all of you to remember how special you are. I know this individual has/had no idea how many people would be hurt by his absence. I don't pretend to know what was going through his mind. I do know when anyone dies I typically recognize they could never know how many lives they have impacted in their life.

Your life is so important. You touch so many people. More than you could ever imagine. Your smile, your laughter, your insights, your greetings, your time together is so valued by others. Please don't forget how important you are and special. Remember whatever the problems that you can reach out and get help from those who love you and professionals.

My children are impacted by this too. We are trying to support our dear friend, her family and each other.

Please please don't ever forget that you are special to so many.

Emma and Mary